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General Laws

Section 97B. There shall be within the police department of every city and town, or grouping of cities and towns with the approval of the secretary of the executive office of public safety, a rape reporting and prosecution unit which shall be designed to improve the quality of rape reporting, counselling, and prosecution. Said units shall consist of police investigators who shall have completed a course of training in the counselling of victims of rape and the prosecution of alleged perpetrators of the crime of rape which shall be approved and funded by the municipal police training committee established by section one hundred and sixteen of chapter six. Each department shall make efforts to employ women police officers to serve in said units. A victim of rape who is male shall, whenever possible, be interviewed initially by a male police officer, and a victim of rape who is female shall, whenever possible, be interviewed initially by a woman police officer. Each unit shall in addition make use of such counselors, attorneys, and medical personnel as are necessary to provide a broad range of therapeutic services for victims of rape.

Each unit shall provide personnel with training in the use of a standardized kit for the collection and preservation of evidence in rape cases. Such kit shall be designed by said municipal police training committee and shall include instructions, standardized reporting forms, and appropriate receptacles for the collection and preservation of evidence for laboratory and police use. Each kit shall also include medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the commissioner of public health about emergency contraception.

A hospital licensed pursuant to the provisions of chapter one hundred and eleven shall inform a victim of rape that the evidence of rape preserved in said kit shall be kept for a period of at least six months upon the written request of the victim at the time the evidence is obtained upon forms provided to such victim by such hospital.

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